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Whats Streaming: LUCIFER: The devil takes a vacation

What would happen if the devil got tired of damning souls in the fiery pits of hell? According to Neil Gaiman (the creator of the work on which the series is based), the answer is simple. Go to Los Angeles and take a permanent vacation. This is the premise of the former FOX hit “Lucifer.”

After three seasons, “Lucifer” was canceled last year to the disappointment of many fans. What made matters worse was the way in which writers ended the show, with a confusing re-set to the storyline directly after the pinnacle moment that drove the entire series. So many questions were left unanswered that FOX must have been overwhelmed with angry reaction.

Actor Tom Ellis plays the central role with a devilish charm. While the devil sets up shop in his personal nightclub, he goes about the city by day solving murders with Detective Chloe (played by Lauren German), who is immune to his charms. The why is for you to find out if you haven’t seen the series. For those not immune to Lucifer’s charms, they feel compelled to tell him their greatest desires and not always with the intended results.

Based on a character from the critically acclaimed DC comic book series “The Sandman,” the historical devil becomes a sympathetic character. As Lucifer himself puts it: “I invented daddy issues.” Ellis’ flair for witty retorts and the voice of an angel (no pun intended — or is it?) makes for entertaining moments in the series. Viewers often find themselves wooed by Ellis as he plays piano and sings.

Making his way from one murder case to another, he pines for the detective’s affections and puzzles as to his lack of influence over her. The devil’s time on Earth certainly has an impact on him as he tries to calm his own inner demons by going to a therapist. Yeah, it’s that kind of goofy.

The soundtrack to the show is reminiscent of USA’s “Psych,” with a modern pop/rock music backdrop, as is the humor (minus the constant ’80s references). The special effects are light (primarily when wings are involved or when the devil shows his true face), which gives the actors a chance to shine with emotions that make the series so endearing.

When the end of the show was announced, the world seemed to need a bit more sympathy for the devil, and the devil got it. Netflix recently acquired the show and gave us 10 more episodes with the potential for more. The biggest bonus was the complete disregard for the last show of the last season. Originally that last episode was written as the first of the next season. But because the show was canceled, FOX determined, by executive wisdom, to add the new episode as the last of the series, causing quite the stir.

When Netflix picked up the series, the writers listened to the fans and explored the aftermath of Detective Cloe learning the truth that Lucifer is indeed the devil and the tense relationship issues that follow. Detective Chloe probably will need that therapist more than Lucifer now.

What’s more, the special effects for “Lucifer” seem to have an expanded budget that gives it a more sinister and polished appeal. The show is surprisingly charming while exploring the biblical back stories, adding a bit to the mythology to keep the show fresh. Even the mother of the devil (who actually comes off as more evil than the devil himself until you find sympathy for her, too) makes a compelling character. You will find yourself chuckling when Lucifer quips “Dad damn it” from time to time.

So, the devil took a vacation to Los Angeles, stirred up some trouble, fell in love, got canceled, took another vacation and was resurrected by Netflix for yet another vacation of murder solving. The question is: Will you take a vacation with the devil, too?

To reach Brian Fitz-Gerald email him at bfitz-gerald@rosebudmedia.com.

Tom Ellis and Rachael Harris in the "Manly Whatnots" episode of "Lucifer" (Michael Courtney/FOX)
Lauren German and Tom Ellis in the "Lucifer, Stay. Good Devil" episode of "Lucifer" (CR: Bettina Strauss/FOX)